Spelling - Discussion & ideas about spelling rules

Copywork, Cursive, Dictation, Grammar, Handwriting, Letter Writing, Memory Work, Narration, Read-Alouds, Spelling, Vocabulary, & Writing (many of these topics apply to other subjects such as Bible, History, and Science)
kellybell
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Spelling - Discussion & ideas about spelling rules

Unread post by kellybell » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:02 pm

Donna T. wrote:So, if following MFW, would we start Spelling Power at the beginning of the book in third grade? I've only seen it a couple of times and it did look so huge... I sort of avoided it! Now I wish I had taken a closer look. Lucy wrote that they write down and memorize the rules. That's what I'm looking for. So, we would just begin this (memorizing the rules) in third grade rather than in second?
If you go with Spelling Power, read the "quick start" intro and a few months into it, read the rest of the instructions. The MFW manuals give some suggestions on adding more review and using Spelling Power.

Spelling Power is cost effective. We've got four kids, and if they use it four about (my guess) seven years from 3rd to 9th grades, then it's about $2 a year per kid. Not bad. Spelling Power is also time effective in that it takes about 5 mins. of mom's time and about 15 mins (sometimes less) of the student's time.

Yes, there are rules that the kids learn after hearing them several times. So, you'd start learning these rules in 3rd grade when you start Spelling Power, but there's no reason you couldn't start in on rules before then. Maybe get a poster board and tack it up. Each time you and dc "discover" a new spelling rule, write it on the poster with some examples. You'll have quite a few before third grade comes.

With traditional spelling programs, the student starts learning a new list of words on MOnday and tests on them on Friday. If your child is great at spelling and knows the words on the list, it's a waste of time since they aren't "new" words. If your child is a poor speller, then the list could be overwhelming.

With Spelling Power, your child never has to study a word he already knows well and he studies words that he doesn't know until he knows the words (whether that takes a day or a month on the same word). Some days, my dd gets all the words I read to her (we stop after 25 words total) and she doesn't have to study any. Other days, she misses five words (our agreed-upon maximum missed words for a day) after I've read only seven or eight words (last week, she had a list with pseudonym, and some other tough words).

It's also quite easy to add curriculum-related words (rain forest, Europe, Brazil, etc.) to Spelling Power.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:29 am

I added jingles to help my daughter retain the information. I remember one of our jingles to work on long A --- I need a CHAIR to climb the STAIR to be higher in the AIR. (From Veggie Tales Hairbrush song --- Pa Grape didn't want to STARE at Larry the C. standing BARE in his towel. ) It didn't tell her why to choose the AIR vs. ARE spellings -- but she began to classify the words easier.

crystal

Julie in MN
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Spelling

Unread post by Julie in MN » Sat Dec 10, 2005 10:07 am

Crystal,
Your post is just too funny :o) Your kids are fortunate to have such a quick-thinking mom!

I wanted to add that in Creation to the Greeks you start studying word roots, which helps a little in understanding that some groups of words have the same origin, and thus use the same spellings.

Julie
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Donna T.

spelling

Unread post by Donna T. » Sun Dec 11, 2005 6:13 pm

Wow! Thanks for all this great information. It's really hard to know what will work on this side of the experience. Maybe we will like the R&S book enough to stick with it in the future grades as I really like the looks of the grammer books and intend to atleast try those starting in third grade. I also plan to use their math starting in the next several months.

The phonics in first is working so well for Jonathan. He is doing great. He rarely misses a word when we do the dictation at the beginning of the lessons. When he does get tripped up, it's something very easy. Like, he couldn't sort out "try" from "dry." He just wasn't hearing the difference in the "tr" and "dr". He is such a perfectionist and is devastated when he misses a word. I'm praying it will get better as he matures but it's a real big part of his personality to want to be perfect. It really hurts him to make mistakes. I'm thinking I'll use alot of copywork and not let him think he's being tested... when we get to spelling I mean.

kfrench
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Unread post by kfrench » Thu Dec 15, 2005 5:42 pm

we are doing 2nd grade spelling and my daughter does fine as long as it is phonetically spelled. She has started taking out her phonics sheet from first grade that shows all the differant letter combinations that make the same sound so now she tries to attempt to figure it out. I still haven't figured out how to get words to stick it's phonetic all the way no matter how much we practice. She likes the short pages and does half a page a day. I make her read which takes longer than the spelling but is good practice.
kfrench

JoyfulDancer
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Unread post by JoyfulDancer » Wed Jan 04, 2006 10:24 pm

Well, I'll just add our experience so far with R&S 2nd Gr. Spelling this year. I like it and my dd likes it. She does one page Mon, one page Tues, practice test on Thu and Test on Fri. If she misses a word (two so far this year) she has to copy it several times. Every day we make up silly sentences for the words, which is her favorite part. I also only use the TM for the final Test.

I was also worried about spelling with my dd. She is a terrific reader but a really horrible speller, even after MFW1G last year. So far the lists in R&S have been familiar and easy for her, but it is making her aware of the importance of spelling correctly. Also I am using every writing assignment to work on spelling. Whatever she misspells becomes handwriting practice for the next day. This seems to also be making her more aware. She has a long way to go, but I am encouraged by the fact that she is enjoying the book and seems to be improving a little.

Laurie

cbollin

Spelling - Discussion about teaching spelling rules

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Aug 23, 2007 4:56 pm

bethben wrote:We finished our first week of Spelling by Sound and Structure and the words are not grouped phonetically (we had words like: said, fat, days, cake, sick).

I really don't know how to teach spelling (like why is sick spelled s-i-c-k instead of sik like he wants to spell it)? Any suggestions? Beth
I thought the same thing. I was so used to spelling books that were set up in a different order. Then SbSaS comes along and changes it for me.

It wasn't until I looked at the teacher's version of that book that I understood what rule was being worked on so that I could teach it. But once I looked in that teacher guide for the blue print on the worksheet pages, it all made more sense. And the hints and helps in the teacher's book help me for a while.


Anyway... for s i c k, instead of s i k.... it takes some time for this rule. The rule usually is if it is a short vowel then it takes CK instead of just K. I used to just keep reminding my kids about it.

-crystal

JenniferF
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Unread post by JenniferF » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:09 pm

I felt that way also and I agree with Crystal. The teachers book was great to explain what the rule was. It has a question like to look at the picture on left side of spelling lesson and describe it using three of your spelling words etc.

I do like SbSaS in fact, I bought it to start out our 3rd grade year also because I knew dd wasn't ready yet for just a list of words...neither was I. I do plan to start Spelling Power later.

As for what the rule is, you could possibly write it out on index cards. If you used the reading chart from first grade- keep it out and around for 2nd grade! I never thought about it until most of they way through however. I have also found a few websites with printables for spelling rules. One was simple sheets and one was index cards.
Jennifer

Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Aug 23, 2007 5:13 pm

Hi Beth,
I haven't used SSS, but I do have some thoughts on the difficulty of teaching spelling (oh, I suppose I have opinions on most things LOL!).

Spelling is not really the same thing as learning the rules of phonics/decoding/reading. There is some overlap, but spelling is really "backwards reading." You can teach what sounds a group of letters makes, and every time you see that group of letters, you know what sounds it may or may not make.

However, when you are spelling, you must choose from all the different ways to spell a particular sound. Phonics can help narrow it down. Your child might learn what is the most common spelling of the /er/ sound (e-r), and what the other four possible spellings are (ir, ur, wor, ear) -- possibly even in order of the most commonly used spelling to the least common spelling.

But then comes the hard part -- *which* way of spelling will this particular word use? This can be based on many, many things -- and most of them are over the head of a second grader. The choice might be based on the root word (as in say=said), the country of origin (if it's Greek, the /f/ sound is spelled ph), the likelihood of confusion with other words (or/ore), the way it "used to be pronounced" (as in baby), and so on.

Keeping a list of spelling rules handy could help you narrow it down. I love spelling rules. I truly believe that almost everything in the English language "makes sense." I have my son add spelling and grammar ules to a notebook whenever we run across one in ILL or any other daily work. Here are a couple of lists I like. They can help you with things like using c-k after a short vowel sound as in "sick."

http://www.lewrockwell.com/taylor/taylor143.html
http://www.dyslexia.org/spelling_rules.shtml

However, most "very thorough" phonics programs seem to me to be really more information than kids want to know -- and more time than their little attention spans have available. Besides that, in the end, the child will still have to rely on a lot of memory work to make the correct spelling choices.

P.S. If you go to Spelling Power for 3rd grade, your child will get exposed to some basic spelling rules!

Just MHO,
Julie :o)
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

Lucy
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Unread post by Lucy » Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:35 am

Spelling is just harder for some of us than it is for others. I would have to agree with much of what Julie has said regarding spelling at younger ages.

I found that what helped my daughter at this age more than a program was copy work. This is one reason that MFW uses PLL that includes copy work. as well as having the child copy the memory verses each week.

Spelling By Sound and Structure is only part of the overall spelling program. I do not feel that for my daughter knowing all the rules in 2nd grade would have really helped her. It was writing and using those words over and over again in context that helped to cement many words in her head.

We have used Spelling Power since she was in 4th grade which I think has been a good program for her, but alone is not a whole program. Continuing to do copy and dictation work as well as increased writing as she has gotten older have all aided her in becoming a better speller.

She is NOT a natural speller and has always struggled in this area. I think knowing this about herself has also helped her to become more aware of checking her spelling as she has gotten older (more in 7th and 8th grade).

I have not used SSS since my kids were much older when MFW began to recommend it and I had not heard of it. It is only meant to be a gentle introduction to spelling as a subject. I agree with Crystal though that without the SSS TM you would be at a loss for what they are focusing on in that week. I have looked at this program since I occasionally help MFW at conventions.

Also are you using the instructions given by MFW in the TM? You probably are, but they are slightly different than what is suggested by the book itself.

Hope this helps you a little as you are trying to think through spelling and the younger child. If I could say one thing from looking back, it is that I worried about it too much. I feel that being consistent over time, to practice and copy and write, has been most helpful in the long run.

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Aug 20, 2008 11:32 pm

Posted: Sat Apr 12, 2008 6:27 am

Some kids just don't start to retain all of it until they are 10 years old. It's ok.

My oldest started with Spelling Power. Had all the similar concerns that have been expressed here about retention and carry over.

Changed to another program.
Then another program.

Then when she was about 10.5 years old, I decided to put her back in Spelling Power. Then guess what, she started to retain it. I've concluded it wasn't the program, but that she just wasn't as ready for that part of her brain to work that way.

Spelling Power doesn't take a lot of time each day. The 10 Step Study approach is very quick to do. My kids even have a quick chant to do it themselves:
Find the weasel, say the word out loud, spell it in the air, in the box, on the paper. check it, next word. :)

I know.... you're thinking that's not 10 steps. :) Don't worry, all of the steps are in there if you're familiar with SP.

(find the weasel???? that's the study the word step where you study why you got it wrong or just why it is a hard word to learn)

Just my experience from switching around programs and going back to SP.
-crystal

kellybell
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Could, Would, Should - spelling

Unread post by kellybell » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:43 pm

Today, I made up a funny story to explain the spelling of could, would should. Ya wanna hear it? Well, it here it goes.

There was this little toddler boy named Lawrence Daniel but he was smaller than his name and folks just called him LD because that was easier and fit him better. He was a wiggly forgetful boy. His mom would say, "You SHOULD clean your room" or "COULD you set the table." Or, "If you knew what's good for you, you WOULD take off those muddy boots." And, when he didn't do these things, his mom would get angry but LD would smile and look cute and Mom couldn't stay mad for long and she's say, in exasperation, "Oh, you..., LD!"

So, I told this to my youngest and now she can remember "O U L D" and can spell should, could, and would just fine.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Julie in MN
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-EIGH Spelling

Unread post by Julie in MN » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:59 pm

musicmommy wrote:My 3rd grade boy is really struggling with using -eigh to make the long a sound. I'm a natural speller and I don't really know the rules. Any advice on how to help him remember when to use -eigh?

Thanks so much!
Wendy
One rule that comes in quite handy in several situations is sort-of related...?

I before E
except after C
or when it says A
as in neighbor or weigh
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
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musicmommy
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Thanks

Unread post by musicmommy » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:51 pm

He knows that rule. He was wondering how to know when to use -eigh instead of -ay or a_e to make the long A sound.

thanks though :)

Julie in MN
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How to choose which spelling for a sound

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Sep 18, 2008 12:31 am

musicmommy wrote:He knows that rule. He was wondering how to know when to use -eigh instead of -ay or a_e to make the long A sound. thanks though :)
Well, if he doesn't have any trouble remembering that "ei" is *one* of the ways you spell the /A/ sound, then that's the major thing that I was getting at and he already has that down.

The problem is, knowing how to make letters into sounds is the opposite of knowing how to make sounds into letters. The first one -- sounding out letters -- is easier, because there are only so many ways each letter can sound & eventually you'll hit on a word you recognize.

The second one -- deciding which way to spell the sounds -- depends on things like what country the word comes from. For instance, those French folks like to add all the silent consonants, as in "ballet." And in your example of "eigh" words, I believe the silent "gh" comes from countries that actually *spoke* some kind of /gh/ sound. But a kid isn't going to know what country each word comes from.

Alas, reading can be done very well with the phonics rules under your belt, but some of spelling has to be done by memorization. It helps to...

1. Know all the possible ways to spell a sound
2. Know the most common way(s) to spell a sound (when in doubt, try the most common way)
3. Know any special situations that make a spelling more common (ay is used at the end of a word)
4. Know rules that are affected by nearby letters (such as C followed by e/i/y)
5. Sometimes you can remember related words (tense ... tension)
6. But for the rest, you do have to just memorize things like which particular words spell A with an "ei" rather than "ai" or other spelling.

As far as memorization help, Crystal has mentioned that she breaks up some of the Spelling Power words by common spellings, to help the child remember them in their proper spelling group more easily...
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

musicmommy
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Unread post by musicmommy » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:41 pm

Thank you so much! This guy just isn't a natural speller in any way, shape or form. I am and I have no idea why, but words just make sense to me.

I think I'll try Crystal's suggestion and break the words down a little that way. Maybe just pull together a list of words that use -eigh and the have him play around with those for a bit.

I do appreciate your help...thanks!

cbollin

Homophones (there/their) & Homonyms (read/read)

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:20 pm

RB wrote:DD8 misspells things in her writing all the time, especially substituting homonyms (ie. "There house was across the street").

DD7 thinks of other words than the ones they are looking for. In other words, she doesn't think like they do.

They both love Copywork. Any thoughts on chucking spelling for the year and doing daily copywork? Help!!!
Just a word of encouragement on the homophones

I wouldn't be too worried about that in the writing at the age of 8. That's going to take some practice. I find that I do that sometimes while typing. I'll be thinking of one word and type its homophone and then catch it on the edit. So, you might have a small list of homophones nearby your writing center to help her learn to proof read a sentence. But at age 8, keep it simple.

If there are certain homophones that are tripping her up all the time, check out some of the activity cards in SP on homophones and see about working on drill work with them. Most likely it will carry over in her writing fairly soon. I know there are cards in the activity box so I assume there are some in the teacher's resource CD/manual.

for the 7 y.o
You could even consider using the modified approach in SP for the 7 y.o for a little while. They don't test. They make a dictionary from the words on level A. Instructions are in the SP book, not the mfw manual.

Of course you can take off of spelling and just do copywork. We all need breaks from stuff now and then. You can even use Spelling Power as copy work and skip the pre test and not have to buy a new workbook or anything. You can use the sentences in the SSS teacher's book and/or student book for copy work.

and you could modify the vocab section in SSS by asking her to look at the list of words before she answers. Let her answer with the word she is thinking of and then say "those words mean the same thing." It's a lesson on synonyms without even trying. Good lesson.

RB wrote:Thanks for these helpful responses, and for being gracious about the fact that I confused homonyms and homophones :)
Posted by cbollin » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:04 pm
no you didn't confused them at all. Homonyms and Homophone mean the same thing. They are actually synonyms of each other. LOL. (well, seriously, according to my dictionary the definition of homonym puts in homophone) I just couldn't type homonyms and gave up and used homophones.

well, ok. I guess there is a tiny distinction given in my dictionary. homonyms are when they are "homographs" -- spelled the same but have different meaning "read" or "read". who cares. we knew what you meant ((hugs))

-crystal

kellybell
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Re: Homophones (there/their) & Homonyms (read/read)

Unread post by kellybell » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:03 pm

Eye all sew goof up with homophones when tie ping. My brain says won thing and my fingers type another thing!

For young students (and seven is young) copywork is a great way to "do spelling." Just find some neat Bible verses or Ben Franklin quotes or whatever. Just google to find some fun quotes or open your Bible to Proverbs and there ya go! I always like the cheap answer!
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

Lucy
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Unread post by Lucy » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:50 am

TriciaMR wrote:Here, let me show you the words and her misspellings:
except - exsept
ugly - ugle
lunch - luanch
neighbor - neidor
science - since
almost - alomst
dollar - doller (and that's how we say that word - we say "doller" here, not doll-are" as that's the /ar/ in jar rule)
different - diffent
mountain - mounten (she has trouble with "tain" at the end of words - fountain, curtain, certain, chieftain are the only ones I can thing of that end that way)
naughty - naut (at this point she was frustrated and just couldn't remember)
month - mount
Trish,

Spelling has always been a struggle for me and unfortunately I passed it on to my daughter so I can feel your pain.

As I read your last post it occurred to me that she may be in a level that is too difficult for her. I am sure you tested he. My daughter would not have been very successful with those words at age 8. There are a lot of tricky words in there. So, it is just a suggestion but maybe reevaluating her level would help. I may be totally off and if I am then you can ignore this :).

Lucy
wife to Lee and mom to Twila 18 (girl) and Noel 16(boy). Happy MFW user since 2002.

cbollin

Unread post by cbollin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:17 am

Given that she is 8 and in level C, I don’t think you need to be thinking remedial at this point. Personally, I would drop spelling for a few months and work on the auditory stuff you mentioned such as getting sounds in the right order. I would play games of put this in the “beginning” “middle” or “end” box of the word.

Keep up with the Dianne Craft things. But also realize that your daughter may just need to get older. As the mom of 2 kids with ‘special labels”, it helps me to remember that time is one of the other ingredients.

Seeing your dd’s mistakes on the DRT, many of them are pronunciation issues, so in reality, I would not worry about it given her age and everything else. Perfection in spelling is not a requirement at this age. Would it be better if you dropped down to level A and B and picked back up at C later?

Make a list of those words to keep nearby to look up quickly in a personal dictionary style. I think she needs more time on some of them.

Dollar - I didn’t think my oldest would ever spell dollar correctly, but she did. Did it really matter that she was in 5th grade before that word clicked? Not really. But, to help with that, maybe it would help your daughter to do what my daughter did. She pictured in her head a DOLL putting a dollAR in a jAR to help translate Bibles. (ok. My oldest has spent too much time listening to David Hazell’s workshops.)

UGLY – Again, she is 8 and choosing the right sound. I would choose to overlook that specific one if it were my child getting it wrong while writing. eventually she’ll get it that it is LY (as a combined group of letters) instead of L then E. "LE" together says “ul” when at the end of a word.

I never do rain and eight together. I do “rain” “plain” together. Then add in “eigh” words a few days later. I avoid teaching in one day more than one spelling option for a sound. “ain” words at the end. That’s when you drill some words together: The rain went down the mountain onto the plain. (and yes, our American pronunciation gets in the way of it.)

Different – pronunciation issue

Month- it’s because the o is saying /u/, she’s over thinking it. she’s trying to get the /u/ sound, but she knows it is an O in there. good job for her. Review your phonics that there are times that O says /u/ in some words. but that /ou/ together says something else. I'd give her lots of kudos on putting the o in month.

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 999
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Just ask the kid...

Unread post by TriciaMR » Wed Dec 10, 2008 5:44 pm

I was contemplating moving down to "B," but I was not sure dd would want to make a "dictionary."

So, when we got to spelling today, we went over the words she missed, and why we missed them. Then, I told her about going back one level, and doing the dictionary thing and studying and sentences and what-not...

Well, she agreed! She *wants* to do the dictionary. We'll do "fill-in-the-blank" sentences on sentence day. So, after looking at the Level B lists, we'll step back to Level B, Group 6 and go from there. (She could definitely spell all the words up to Group 5, no problem.) I'll also check the rule, and see if I can find the Abeka flash cards that cover those sounds to kind of help her memory.

We'll see if that helps her. It means more work for me (printing out word lists and sentences) and using more printer ink, but I really think she needs to see the words and write them at least once before attempting to spell them from memory. It's taken until this month for her to write "is," "to," "from", and "of" (rather than si, ot, form, and fo). She reversed them once or twice when she was younger, and they stuck in her head that way until now.

Thanks for all your advice. And we may still end up dropping spelling and go back to phonics-for-spelling review before the year is out.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

cbollin

Help with spelling-spelling power

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:19 pm

mgardenh wrote:Ok this is coming from the worlds worst speller trying to help dd who has Aspergers and is very rules oriented. We are on word flow list level E group 32 the rule says When adding a suffix to a word ending in y, change the y to i, as in try to tried and baby to babies. Exception: When the y is preceded by a vowel, just add the suffix.

So we get to "worrying" and "hurrying" and it doesn't follow the rule but dd is very upset because she wrote the word following the rule. Is there more to this another rule that will help or another exception to the rule? Are these words in the wrong group or something. I don't know what to tell dd.
Mike,

Those do not change because then we'd have 2 "i" in a row. The other rule that was left out in SP on this:

When adding a suffix to a word ending in y, change y to "i" and add the suffix, unless the suffix starts with the letter i. because of the rule of:
In English, we don't normally use 2 "i's" in a row. (skiing is an exception because it was not originally an English word and it's not a y on the end to begin with)

by the way, if she's in level E, she's doing great!

-crystal

cbollin

Spelling Question

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:48 pm

BHelf wrote:We are using Spelling Power for spelling this year (3rd grade) and my DD has started from the very first list and we've gotten to the list with the "a" sound (says its name) is spelled like 50 billion ways. ;) Anyways, we started with this list 3 days ago and she missed grape, sprain, and trade. We did the review where you follow all the steps and she was hesitant but spelled them right a little after that. Then I started with those 3 words the next day and she didn't get them right. So we followed all the steps again and we used one of the activity cards--writing the word and doodling around it, writing it with fancy letters, etc. (She loved doing that, BTW.) Today we again tried those words and she missed them again on the first try but got them after 2 or 3 more tries to spell them.

My question is--how long do we keep reviewing those same 3 words? Until she gets them right the first time or do we just stop after awhile? I haven't moved on to the next list because I feel like she should get those right before moving on to another spelling "rule." Is this correct? She is starting to get frustrated with herself at spelling time which is not what I want. (Still having good school days, though.)

I've thought about using another program but at some point she has to learn that there are many ways to spell a sound and sort of memorize which word is spelled which way--or notice if it "looks" right... Thanks for any advice or help you can give me!

Brooke
With long A in SP, I separated the list into similar spellings of the same sound. That way we practiced just one kind of long A at a time.

is she getting the other letters in the words correctly and just mixing up ways to say A? Or are there other problems popping up with those words such as not hearing the "r" sound with the consonant blends?

even in All about Spelling, the words are taught on different lessons, but then, you review with a visual word bank to help reinforce "it looks right" issue with same sound different phonogram.

-crystal

Julie in MN
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Re: Spelling Question

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:03 pm

BHelf wrote:If she says the word out loud first, she typically gets the first blend "spr" or "tr" or "gr" in those words. But for grape and trade she wants to say "graep" or "traed". Sprain sometimes throws her off with that first blend of "spr" but not always...she knows the right letters in the words but not always the right order. Thanks for letting me know you broke those lists down...guess I needed permission that that is okay to do. hehehe.

So should I keep doing different activities to enforce those words til she gets them before moving on to the next group of words? Or should I move on to the next grouping while still practicing those other words?
Also, is it typical that kids can read all these words just fine but not be able to spell them when asked? She rarely has a problem reading but spelling is a whole different story.
I like Crystal's idea of teaching the A sound in separate groups. I think kids can kind of remember the "group." Many times the vowel sound is spelled a certain way when it's alongside a certain consonant, which may even rhyme. So the child might remember "rain, train, pain," and say, oh yeah, rain is like train, pain. Even though other rhyming words are spelled differently (mane, pane, for instance), they still may remember a group of familiar words they have worked on together.

Another connection for "ai" is with "ay." You can look at the sounds in may/mail, pay/pail, say/sail. The I is used in the middle of the word and the Y at the end. Again, there is another group of words NOT spelled that way (male, pale, sale), but kids may remember with these cues.

I really encourage telling the child that they made a good, logical guess if they are spelling the A sound in one of the correct ways. If they use the "A-consonant-E" spelling for /A/ (e.g. cake), then they have tried the most common, most logical spelling for that sound. When I tutor, I will say, "Good guess, that's the most common way to spell the A sound. But this word uses one of the less common ways to spell the A sound. Can you think of which spelling it uses?" And if they still can't think of it, I'll say, "How about the A sound in "train"?" or some easy word I'm sure they will know. This helps them look at spelling as more approachable and solvable, I think.

However, her AE spelling -- AE is almost NEVER used in American English. You can tell her she's writing in British :)

As for moving on, I'd keep the list to review regularly but I wouldn't hold her on a few words forever. If the review list gets too long, you can just keep cycling through the big list -- even on the days she is working on different words, she may still be absorbing the past words in the back of her mind. Well, that's said from someone who didn't use SP much because my youngest is a natural speller, but I've tutored a lot of kids for whom spelling is their life challenge. And spelling is a totally different skill (encoding) from reading (decoding).
Julie
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TriciaMR
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Re: Spelling Question

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:12 am

Brooke,

I would give SP a whirl for a little while longer, and then re-evaluate. Like Crystal, when I did SP, I would group the words with the same spelling. So, I'd give the rule, and then say, "And today, we're going to focus on a-consonant-e words." Maybe there were only 3 words. Then I'd say, "Now we're doing the ai words." etc.

Another weird thing, if a word is a homophone - mail/male, pain/pane - my dd actually gets those right. For some reason, applying the different meaning to the word helps. So, perhaps having her draw a picture of the thing (a grape, or bunch of grapes) and write the word grape with it. Same thing with train and Spain (a little map of Western Europe) might help? Also, if she's more auditory, spelling out loud before she writes it? My dd will often spell words orally correctly, but when she writes them, can't remember order. The act of writing actually causes her to forget.

What about spelling with magnetic letters? I know we want them to be able to spell with their pencil/pen/keyboard, but if the *act* of writing is getting in the way, then sometimes using an alternative can help. Just some random thoughts...

-Trish
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